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Title: Additive Manufacturing of Tooling for Refrigeration Cabinet Foaming Processes

The primary objective of this project was to leverage the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) process and materials into a long term, quick change tooling concept to drastically reduce product lead and development timelines and costs. Current refrigeration foam molds are complicated to manufacture involving casting several aluminum parts in an approximate shape, machining components of the molds and post fitting and shimming of the parts in an articulated fixture. The total process timeline can take over 6 months. The foaming process is slower than required for production, therefore multiple fixtures, 10 to 27, are required per refrigerator model. Molds are particular to a specific product configuration making mixed model assembly challenging for sequencing, mold changes or auto changeover features. The initial goal was to create a tool leveraging the ORNL materials and additive process to build a tool in 4 to 6 weeks or less. A secondary goal was to create common fixture cores and provide lightweight fixture sections that could be revised in a very short time to increase equipment flexibility reduce lead times, lower the barriers to first production trials, and reduce tooling costs.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Whirlpool Corp., Benton Harbor, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
ED2802000; CEED492; CRADA/NFE-15-05744
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
42 ENGINEERING; tooling; Additive Manufacturing; 3d Printing; Molds